Standing Group Run

Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00pm, LePark Night Run.
Sunday, location & time varies.
Join our Facebook group for exact times/locations and additional group runs.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Laguna Phuket International Marathon 2014 Race Report

This year, 2014 the Hornbill Pacesetter Running Club had the honor of having 5 participants taking part in the Run Paradise Laguna Phuket International Marathon held on 8th June 2014. Our humble team consists of George Chapman, Desmond Sahathevan, Frances Ngu, Tony Liew and myself.

We arrive 2 days earlier in Phuket, having booked accommodation in Kata – KataKiwiRoo. It was located about 40mins by car or bike from the actual event location (Laguna Outriggers Resort). The accommodation was fairly reasonable, with only RM280/day for a nice villa with swimming pool. The Villa had all the necessary amenities except a washing machine. Nevertheless, there were several laundry service and 7-11 stores nearby (50m) by walk. That distance is nothing for us Marathoners,  (can’t even break a sweat from that). There are ample dining places near-by, but we strongly recommend The Red Chair for authentic Thai Food, (reasonably priced and delicious).

The Marathon race:
We have read several feedback and comments of people who have run this course over the past years. All of them have said the same thing; “this is the most challenging course”. That was a scary thought at the back of our mind. Even the Aussie Tri-athletes at the Phuket airport told us the same things, and they have been running for 14+ years. Scary as it may sound, we were not going to let that stop us.  We started at 4am, the weather was cooling about 26degC. There were many runners from all over (Japan, America, UK, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Russia, Kenya and many more). I was impressed with the turn out, although there were only about 7500 participants in total. For the initial 6km the ground was very flat. It was more like any easy run. The waster stations were very evenly spaced out at every 2-3km. The best part about the water stations was that it had COLD water, ice, isotonic drinks and cold sponges. It was a life saver later when the sun came out. We could feel the inclination at 11.5km as we start to go up hill by 20m (at ~14km mark). It was more that I could have ever imagined. But lucky for us, there where cameraman in front, which inspired me to run uphill J.  We then started to go back down hill gradually. At the 18km mark, we could see the leaders making their way back. For about 2km, we were running by the beach. It was similar to Sundown Singapore feeling by East Coast, except there was a nice breeze.  I took the opportunity to enjoy the cold sponge shower at each water station, which gave me a small boost for several km.

The agony came, when we hit the 2nd hill at about 28km. This hill has a similar elevation as the last but steeper.  Thanks goodness the water station and cameraman was 200m ahead. At this point we had to run in the rubber plantation. The sun was out but lucky for us the rubber trees were plentiful. Coming out of the plantation was the killer. At the 32km mark, I felt my legs didn’t want to talk to me. Either I was getting slight cramps or it was just an excuse to start walking. Time checked at 30km was 3:04hrs. I was making fairly good time but was feeling bored and lazy. Looking to the front and back there was no one to be seen. From 32km to ~38km was killer walk and run. I start running each time I see cameraman or nice looking runnersJ (I’m guilty!). But later, the cramps started coming back. The turning point was when I took ice cubes and iced my muscle at 40km. It was all or nothing at that point.

Reaching deep and pushing all till the finishing line. Only thing came to my mind at this time was,” I am hungry and the sun is hot.  Let’s finish this and grab a cold beer”. The finishing line, although was just 2km, was like never ending.  Thank goodness there was the kid’s dash finishing that pushed me to go on. Apart from the fact the guy in front of me started to walk J . I completed with a run time of 4:45hrs.  I thank God, my fellow runners, family and friends, for the continuous encouragement at every race.

I can only say, I need to do more hills training and that I’ll be back to conquer Laguna Phuket International Marathon 2015.

Reported By:- Shannon Francis Lee

Here are some info on the sponsors for the marathon race and our accommodation details:




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